You know how sometimes you can walk around for half a day, blissfully oblivious, until someone points out you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe?
Writing is like that, sometimes. Until my agent mentioned it, I didn’t realize I was such a visual writer.
When I sit down in front of my computer, the things I tend to describe are colors and facial expressions, little gestures and mannerisms. It’s an effort for me to remember to welcome my other senses into the scene. So now after I write, I go back over my words and search for spots where I can inject sounds and tastes and the feel of certain objects. If my protagonist is sipping a glass of wine, instead of just having her lazily circle a fingertip around the rim of the glass, I try to describe the sweet burn of the wine sliding down her throat. If my character is stressed and upset, instead of having them just unconsciously clench and unclench a fist, I imagine their muscles tightening, their breath coming quicker, and their cheeks growing hot.
I don’t think my agent intended it as a criticism, but I’m really grateful she brought it up. Just like I am to the woman who pointed out the t.p. hitching a ride on my shoe yesterday.
9 Replies to “Here’s what Deb Sarah sees…”
Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s wonderful!
Best of luck on the work your starting.
I like to bring in heavy weather in heavy scenes.
All the best!
I have the same habit of injecting as many of the five senses as I can into a scene. I do the same with my critique partners, driving them batty demanding to know “what does the air smell like there? what noises is she hearing?”
I haven’t read your book, but I have a feeling I’d love it. Off to put it in my TBR pile now!
It’s difficult to remember the need to describe what we take for granted, especially when our personal perspectives are so different.
I’m also a huge fan of sensory details and going back and fleshing out a scene with them.
I agree with Kathy–what you’re doing is working!!
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